Ethan Hawke Reveals How Captain America (But Not Hulk) Convinced Him to Join Marvel

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Ethan Hawke, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk

Moon Knight is set to introduce a host of new heroes and villains into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The series is Marvel Studios' first small-screen project in 2022, and it will feature the debut of Oscar Isaac as the titular vigilante. Moon Knight follows the story of Marc Spector as he becomes an agent of the Egyptian moon god Konshu while trying to explore different personalities due to his dissociative identity disorder. 

Isaac's Marvel hero will be pitted against Ethan Hawke's Dr. Arthor Harrow. Moon Knight's villain is a mad scientist who uses zombified soldiers as his minions and test subjects for his experiments. 

The first footage from Moon Knight revealed Hawke's ominous presence in the show, with the character having a cult following solely dedicated to him. 

Hawke's involvement in Moon Knight marks his debut in the superhero universe. The Training Day actor previously explained his decision to join the MCU, pointing out that Isaac's inclusion was a big factor. 

Now, Hawke shared more details about his upcoming Marvel debut.

Ethan Hawke is a Captain America Fan 

Ethan Hawke, Moon Knight

Moon Knight star Ethan Hawke sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about his upcoming MCU debut in the Oscar Isaac-led Disney+ series. 

Hawke first admitted that the "comic book world meant a lot" to him when he was younger, but he was "always a little apprehensive" about joining the superhero universe: 

"The comic book world meant a lot to me when I was younger. I was always a little apprehensive; there's a certain kind of actor that really excels in that universe, and I'm still not sure I'm one of them."

The veteran actor then recalled how Isaac asked him to join the Marvel series, pointing out that it's "fun to do any genre with people who are all in:"

"But then Oscar asked me, and I really respect him. And I knew that if he went in, he was going to go all in, and it's fun to do any genre with people who are all in. Mohamed Diab, I really like his films, he's a special director. So it just became about the project, and it wasn't an intellectual decision at all; it was like, 'Oh, let's do something cool with these guys.'"

Hawke also discussed what makes Moon Knight unique from other comic book properties like Superman and Hulk

"And the more I learned about the Moon Knight, the more turned on I got, because it's so much better than trying to create something that the audience already has a big agenda with. Like, if you do Batman or Superman or Hulk, any of these famous ones, the fans have so many preconceived things that they want from it. It's like playing Hamlet. Ninety percent of people there have an opinion about how Hamlet should be played. I love doing Shakespeare in front of student audiences because they don't have a big agenda. They didn't see how much better Patrick Stewart did it than you. They're just accepting of how you did it."

Hawke then revealed that he's a fan of Captain America, admitting that he loved learning how Steve Rogers became the Star-Spangled Avenger: 

"And with Moon Knight, we get to create a world and a character. The fan in me always enjoys the first movie. I love learning about how the hell Captain America came to be — those are my favorite parts of the story."

In a previous interview, the award-winning actor already shared similar sentiments about being part of Moon Knight, citing the key difference between the white-eyed vigilante and Spider-Man is the character's lack of popularity with the general audience, unlike the web-slinger. 

Ethan Hawke's Anticipated MCU Debut 

Ethan Hawke's latest comments further solidify his enthusiasm about joining the Marvel universe despite being a little apprehensive at first. The actor's remark about Oscar Isaac "going to go all-in" for Moon Knight should serve as a good sign for the series, and the same could be true for Hawke and the rest of the cast and crew. 

Hawke's off-screen relationship with Isaac has been well-documented in past interviews. This gives more reason for fans to anticipate how Hawke and Isaac's dynamic will be presented in the series, especially after how the former teased that he and Isaac are "fighting for good and evil" in the series.

Hawke's point about Moon Knight's unique place in the superhero community is worth noting. Given that the character is set to have his first live-action debut, it allows Isaac, Hawke, and the rest of the Moon Knight crew the freedom to give their fresh take without looking back at previous films and series. 

The actor's admission that he's a fan of how Captain America evolved into a hero is an interesting take. The Star-Spangled Avenger's rise from underdog to a full-fledged hero is an inspiring story for anyone, but it is unknown if Hawke pulled some of its elements to incorporate into this Marvel character. 

Hawke previously revealed his "terrifying" inspiration for his take on Arthur Harrow, saying that he "loves the ones who believe that they're a good person and that's why they have to kill you." While that statement is not alluding to Steve Rogers, it's safe to assume that Harrow's belief that he's a hero in his own right could prove troublesome for Isaac's Marc Spector in the series. 

Moon Knight is set to premiere on Disney+ on March 30, 2022. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.